1 Samuel 16

For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.

God’s Word

With your group, take some time to read carefully 1 Samuel 16:6-7. As you read, underline or circle points that stick out to you. *Note: the “he” in verse six is Samuel.

1 Samuel 16:6-7
When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is before him.” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

Try to imagine yourself as Samuel. Do you think you would also try to choose someone based on their looks? God’s choice,  David, was unexpected. Try to consider these questions and discuss them as a group.

  • Have someone read Proverbs 3:5-8. In what ways are you tempted to trust yourself, your abilities, and the things you have more than God?

  • As you consider others, what ways are you tempted to look at outward appearances or behavior instead of trying to see their heart?

As Christians, it is important for us to remember that part of our Christian growth is learning to see others as God does. 1 Samuel 6:6-7 is a great reminder that God looks at the heart, not the outward appearance. Pray together that God might help you to grow and be more like Him as you see yourself.

The Bible tells us that “Christ in us” is our hope of glory.(Colossians 1:27)

God’s Mission

As we learn to look not merely at outward appearances, we remember to consider the state of people’s hearts. God looks at the state of our hearts, and only God can change hearts. This should encourage us as we share the good news of the gospel with others! Our sight is limited, but God can see hearts.

Consider and discuss these two scenarios as a group:

When we see people as the Lord sees:

  • Pray for hearts to change

  • Honestly share what is in our hearts, and how it affects our behavior.

  • Try to engage in gospel conversations regardless someone else’s outward appearance or behavior.

If we are seeing people as man sees:

  • Pray only for the behavior of others to change

  • Talk about our behavior, and not what is in our hearts.

  • We have gospel conversations when someone’s outward appearance or behavior seems to us to be safe.

As we consider and interact with others, especially with non-Christians, let’s remember that salvation is a free gift of grace (Ephesians 2:8). We are ambassadors of Christ and His Kingdom. A non-Christian’s words and actions towards us, both good and bad, can help us know how to better share God’s love with them. Let us love others, for we were also once far off from God’s grace and love!

As a group, confess any fears you might have in which outward appearances have prevented you from sharing about God with others. Pray with each other for boldness to share the gospel boldly and in love with others!


Take a moment as a group to share with one another about someone that you want to win to Christ. How is it going? Have you had any successes or failures? Pray as a group, or with one other person for boldness and favor as we share the gospel with others. Other prayers: How can you pray for each other? Pray together about God’s Mission and other requests and thanksgivings.

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